Upanishads declare:- the human goal is to acquire Self-Knowledge and they indicate the personal gods, scriptures, worship and rituals are not the means to Self –Knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana, then why anyone should indulge in it. The religion, concept of individualized god and scriptures are greatest obstacle to realize non-dual truth or self-realization, because they are based on false self. Therefore, one has to search the ultimate truth without losing himself in the labyrinths of philosophy, he should indulge in deeper self-search and assimilate and realize it.
Seekers goal is towards Self-knowledge and noting other then it. Therefore, guru is needed in religious and yogic paths which are meant for the people who are not searching for truth but they are searching for worldly comforts and temporary peace in this physical existence. They fear of losing their physical identity and all that is connected to the physical identity. When one realizes the physical identity [ego] is false self and the true identity is the soul, which is in the form consciousness, then he realizes that the fear factor is limited to the false self within the false experience. When the self is not form but formless consciousness all the burden and bondage of the duality is mere mirage created out of consciousness.
How does one get this self-knowledge? What is meant by self- knowledge? These are the questions which seeker has to find answer for.
Merely logical methods are insufficient for inquiry because they will not yield absolute certainty. One needs to indulge in deeper self-search.
If one thinks authoritarianism as a source of knowledge means he is in the grip of orthodox slavery. People who compile philosophical books on a basis of quoting from others as authorities are compiling useless venture, from ultimate standpoint. But in practical life in practical world, for empirical purposes authorities are acceptable, because they are experts in such specialized knowledge.
It is possible to get some knowledge through intuition, as we do through various other sources, as the senses, etc. but the question will still arise, “Is this true knowledge?” Even sense observation must be checked for truth because one has to get intuition based on nonduality not the dualistic based intuition.
In deeper self-search arise from doubts. Inquiry implies doubt, proof, evidence, so that even if God were to come and say that He is God, one would inquire into the truth of the statement.
People are overawed by doctrines enunciated upon authority of some sage or saint or institution or scripture. But one has to verify all the facts from every point of view: How does he or it know? Truth must be tested. If it is true, it will survive the test and will bear proof, but everything else must inevitably find the props of priest- crafted authority to support it.
How is one to know that this is Truth? The test has to be universally applicable, which means--will it be true in every other part of the universe, will it be true in until form, time and space exists.
Will it be true for all people who pursue deeper self-search to the utmost extent? An idea often appears to be a reality when it is not properly inquired into. Even if whole population of the universe declare that this world is the ultimate reality, their assertion is of less value than the assertions of a Gnani who have inquired into the nature and reality of the universe and found it to be mere mirage created out of consciousness.
Ultimate Truth takes things as they are. If there is any uncertainty it is not truth. It does not deal with speculations and imaginations, such as “this universe is illusion,” "the next world is around us” etc. one has not the scientific attitude because they take things as presented to them. They have rather the emotional and sentimental attitude. The right attitude is to verify all the facts, to see a problem in them, something to investigate deeply and inquire into them.
Truth must be verifiable; it is no use saying "the truth has intuitively reveled to me." It must be possible for everyone to see also. Unless it is verifiable it is of no value. Those who lack the capacity to doubt are not fit for pursuit of truth.
The reason has to be based on the formless self not on the ego, which is false self, within the false experience. Analogical, inductive and deductive reasoning are good only within limitation of duality; none are absolutely and universally infallible because they must work under certain conditions. The orthodox says: Believe! and one will be saved. The Gnani says: Doubt! and one will be saved.
Many people have the desire to know the truth but the capacity to understand is limited. The result is that people resolve the conflict by jumping to the first and simplest and easiest conclusion as the correct one, and smugly but unjustifiably thinking “They know”: Thus they commit the fallacy of primitivity.
Seeker of truth should always need proof of every teacher, pundit or yogi for their declaration. He has to verify on his own without indulging in pursuit of argument whether they are based on dualistic view point or whether they are based on non-dualistic view point. Accept only non-dualistic viewpoint which is based on the formless self by accepting dualistic vie point, which is based on the form as self.
If the mystics says that one can know spirit, ultimate truth, nondual reality, etc. only by intuition and not by intellect the reply is : one can one know everything in duality alone; when one is asleep he cannot know anything by intuition, because there is no duality there.
This proves that if there be such a faculty as intuition is operative within the realm of duality , and when yogis talks of discovering the supra-mental consciousness, who or what is there, to discover it because the mind or duality is not there? It is an absurd statement.
The psychological writings of mystics and the pseudo-scientific explanations of yogis are not inferences from the facts of their mystic experiences but mere imaginations because any such experience is possible only within the duality, which is mere illusion.
Only the ignorant mystic claims he has cosmic consciousness implies that he has gone to the other planet and seen that this consciousness was also there; he has gone to the galaxy seen it there, such claims are mere hallucination based on the false self.
Even to this day many people believe in the mythological stories to be true; that is because they have not got perfect reasoning faculty.
Until a doctrine or claim is proved to be to be true it is of no value. Until then one must not accept it. Most of the people are ignorant and trust the people who claim to know God. They are deceived by the fallacy of authority, whether it be outer or inner, and do not judge for themselves as to what is true or not. Mentality of people is still primitive or infancy stages. They are unable to think beyond form, time and space.
Logic leads to practical truth; it cannot lead one to ultimate truth because logic is based on physicality. Here reason alone can guide one to ultimate end. When logic is applied beyond its proper limits, i.e. practical life within the practical world, it becomes absurd.
The dualists are examples of this absurdity, when they say one cannot have a watch without a watchmaker and hence a world without a creator. It is a misapplication of such logic to apply it to matters outside its proper sphere of use.
It is impossible to have a mind which is non-logical, i.e. without some kind of logic. Even mentally challenged people try to draw inferences, only they are illogical, i.e. draw them wrongly. Everyone thinks logically or illogically, never non-logically. But the intellectual often confounds logic with reason.
Most people have inherited inborn tendency to believe in the supernatural, belongs to its weaknesses.
Nobody denies that mystics have their mystical experiences. But the question of their validity then arises because they have such mystical experiences within the waking experience but waking experience itself is mere illusion from ultimate stand point.
Every man says “I know?” What does he know? This ‘I’ know business is most dangerous. Pursuit of truth deals with fact, truth and reality, not with religion, poetry and imagination. Hence it does not trouble itself with unseen heavens beyond this world but rather with this seen world and everything that is in it. Dualistic cults ask one believe in their theories and imagine, but in pursuit of truth the onus is on the propagator to prove such claims.
One who goes on telling of unseen planes which he has never seen, who goes on merely imagining and is unable to prove it when questioned, is really laying or hallucinating. .
In pursuit of truth one has to appeal to reason, and not to intuition, belief, authority etc. Because of its universality, because all over the world and in all times there is only a single rational truth, because reason is the only way to obtain worldwide agreement amongst all peoples, races ,religion, cult and creed nations, groups etc. Faith, intuition etc. varies tremendously in its imagined doctrines, scripture is interpreted by every man as he likes, but reason cannot vary in its truth.
One has to verify his own understanding and views are true by deeper self-search. Intuition when used by mystics and yogis means mere blah, blah based on the physical self or ego.
The Yogic exercises are useful in particle life within the practical world. If done in the proper way they have their own value for those whose, grasping faculty is not sharp enough. If yoga is considered as tool to Self-Realization, then they are being misled. Yoga is helpful only in preparatory stages. When yoga regarded as an end, not a means then they become hindrances and errors for they cannot give truth.
Sri, Sankara says in VivekaChudamani :-
56. Neither by Yoga, nor by Sankhya, nor by work, nor by learning, but by the realisation of one's identity with Brahman is Liberation possible, and by no other means.
58. Loud speech consisting of a shower of words, the skill in expounding the Scriptures, and likewise erudition - these merely bring on a little personal enjoyment to the scholar, but are no good for Liberation.
59. The study of the Scriptures is useless so long as the highest Truth is unknown, and it is equally useless when the highest Truth has already been known.
60. The Scriptures consisting of many words are a dense forest which merely causes the mind to ramble. Hence men of wisdom should earnestly set about knowing the true nature of the Self.
61. For one who has been bitten by the serpent of Ignorance, the only remedy is the knowledge of Brahman. Of what avail are the Vedas and (other) Scriptures, Mantras (sacred formulae) and medicines to such a one?
62. A disease does not leave off if one simply utter the name of the medicine, without taking it; (similarly) without direct realisation one cannot be liberated by the mere utterance of the word Brahman.
63. Without causing the objective universe to vanish and without knowing the truth of the Self, how is one to achieve Liberation by the mere utterance of the word Brahman ? — It would result merely in an effort of speech.
64. Without killing one’s enemies, and possessing oneself of the splendour of the entire surrounding region, one cannot claim to be an emperor by merely saying, ‘I am an emperor’.
65. As a treasure hidden underground requires (for its extraction) competent instruction, excavation, the removal of stones and other such things lying above it and (finally) grasping, but never comes out by being (merely) called out by name, so the transparent Truth of the self, which is hidden by Maya and its effects, is to be attained through the instructions of a knower of Brahman, followed by reflection, meditation and so forth, but not through perverted arguments.
66. Therefore the wise should, as in the case of disease and the like, personally strive by all the means in their power to be free from the bondage of repeated births and deaths.
67. The question that thou hast asked today is excellent, approved by those versed in the Scriptures, aphoristic, pregnant with meaning and fit to be known by the seekers after Liberation.
Pursuit of argument is not pursuit of truth. Agreeing and disagreeing with each other’s views will not yield nondual wisdom. Healthy discussion on the subject and humility and patience and friendly interaction will only help seeker in his inner journey. Just by criticizing any masters or teachers of the past, the wisdom will not dawn. Many masters and their teaching of the past have contributed to seeking world in their own way. Some may find some teachers view or teaching are inadequate and useless in quenching the spiritual thirst. It is for the seeker to highlight on what standpoint they are inadequate and useless and how they are blocking his realization. Mutual respect to each other is necessary in spiritual interaction.
The path of religion, path of yoga and the path of wisdom were intended for different classes of people. The wisdom is for the advanced seekers of truth. It deals with the nature of the ultimate Truth and Reality. It is meant for superior aspirants who have inner urge to know the truth and it is not for those who are immersed in earthly desires.
To understand, assimilate the nondual truth needs a totally different kind of approach. There is no need to convince others but one has to get firm conviction of the truth for himself. If one is receptive and sharp he will be able to grasp it. Even Upanishads clearly declares:-
Mediocre minds waste their time on arguing about unimportant matters. Accumulation of scriptural knowledge is dangerous in pursuit of truth. Seeker has to establish in the truth of Non-duality by sheer reasoning alone. Seeker has to begin by defining "What is real?" "What is unreal?" etc, because that is the right way to discuss, understand and assimilate self-knowledge. Thus seeker has to remove all the blockades which are blocking his realization.
This Ataman cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, or by intelligence, or by much hearing of sacred books. It is attained by him alone whom It chooses. To such a one Ataman reveals Its own form. [Katha Upanishad Ch-II -23-P-20]
Mundaka Upanishad :-
This Ataman cannot be attained through study of the Vedas, nor through intelligence, nor through much learning. He who chooses Ataman—by him alone is Ataman attained. It is Ataman that reveals to the seeker Its true nature. [ 3 –page-70 Mundaka Upanishad Upanishads by Nikilanada]
Sri, Ramana Maharishi said: scriptural knowledge is conceptual divisions invented by teachers of philosophy by their excessive analysis. Where do all these concepts end? Why should confusion created and then explained away? Fortunate is the man who does not lose himself in the labyrinths of philosophy, but goes straight to the source from which they all arise.
Ramana Maharishi indicated the direct path to the truth, is the source from which the false arises. Thus the source is the soul/ Ataman, which is the true self. Ataman itself is Brahman. Thus it is necessary to view the worldview on the base of the source, which the true self, and formless substance and witness of the experience of diversity. Thus deeper inquiry, analysis and reasoning on the true base, one can acquire the self –knowledge in lesser time and effort. The unity in diversity is possible only through self-knowledge not by mastering the scriptural knowledge.
One has to bifurcate the physicalized Advitha [religious add-ons] which is meant for the mass mind set, who are incapable inquire to verifying their inherited beliefs. But for the seekers truth, to get the pure essence of nonduality which is based on the formless soul. The path of inquiry, analysis and reasoning on the true base, leads one towards the nondual destination. Therefore, there is need to rectify the seeking base from ego base to soul base to understand, assimilate and realize the non-dual truth.
Ramana Maharishi says: this self –inquiry is not the critical study of the scriptures. When the source is reached the ego gets merged into it. The result of self-inquiry is the cure for all the sorrows. It is the highest of all the results. There is nothing greater then it. It only indicates there is no necessity to study the scriptures to acquire self-knowledge. [Page-66-practicle guide to know yourself c/e by A.R.N].
Ramana Maharishi says:
Q by D:- Is not necessary to study the Vedas or at least the Prasthanatraya [the Bhagavad Gita,Dasopanishad and Brahma Sutras, all with commentaries]to ensure firm realization?
Ramana Maharishi:-No. Do you need all that to see yourself? All that is intellectual wealth, useful in explain doubts and difficulties if others rise them or if you yourself encounter them in the course of thinking. But to attain realization, all that is not necessary. You want fresh water to drink, but you do not require all the water of the river Ganges to quench your thirst. [Page 111/112 of Practical guide to know yourself c/e by A.R.N].
Nonduality does not need the support of any Scripture or Revelation like the Veda. For it is based, not upon the varying theological fancies, which are as numerous as the sands of the sea, but upon reason, the common heritage of all mankind, irrespective of colour or creed or clime.
Seeker of truth has to know that something is inadequate in Buddhist or Advaitic teachings to reach the nondual destination because of the add-ons and adulteration. Thus it becomes difficult to reach destination directed by the Buddha, Sri, Sankara and Sri,Goudapada.
It is for the seeker to go on his own and remove the obstacle. The greatest hindrance is mixing religion, god, scriptures, and yogic theories. Moreover, attachment to scriptures, personal god and religious code of conduct keeps one permanently in the grip of duality.
For the same reason Raman Maharshi said: fortunate are the one who do not lose themselves in the labyrinths of philosophy. Bhagwan says: Take Vedanta, for instance: it speaks of 15 pranas the names and functions of it which the student is asked to commit memory. Will it not be sufficient if he thought, only one prana does the whole work of maintaining the body? Again the antakaran is said to think, to desire, to will, to reason etc. Why all these details? Has anyone seen antakarana, or all these pranas? Do they really exist? They are conceptual divisions invented by teachers of philosophy by their excessive analysis. Where do all these concepts end? Why should confusion created and then explained away? Fortunate is the man who does not lose himself in the labyrinths of philosophy, but goes straight to the source from which they all arise. (GURU RAMANA .By S.S Cohen -vii Danger of philosophy-Page -58-59)
One is seeking truth for himself, thus it is very personal journey of verification. Truth has to be ascertained and proved for his own realization. Path of wisdom path is independent path nothing to do with the religion and scriptures. Thus seeker has to indulge in deeper self-search to understand assimilate and realize non-dual truth by avoiding the path of argument and perversion, which leads nowhere. Share each other’s view with respecting each other and inspiring everyone. Thus let us use the precious time to know our true identity which is beyond form, time and space.